IRAN BEHIND GREEN ZONE BARRAGE
On 03/24/2008 night, Iraq time, General David Petraeus, the commander of the USA led coalition forces in Iraq and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker briefed U.S. President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice via teleconference about Iraq and their upcoming testimony before the Congress.
General David Petraeus recommended pausing troop drawdown. Indeed his successful security plan from 02/2007, which succeeded in reducing the violence in Iraq at about 70% and removing Iraq issue from the TV screens in USA in a year of election, shows clear signs of draining. In the last two month there is a new scaling of violence, still far from the level of summer 2007, and the Iraqi anti American insurgency, including Shiite factions, adopted themselves to the new situation.
Since 08/2007 one of the pillars of relative success in Iraq was the unilateral cease fire declared by the Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr’s violent ‘Mahdi Army’. ‘Mahdi Army’ is a proxy of Iran and the cease fire coincided with the new IRANIAN foreign-policy which was based on the principle of calm for USA in Iraq in return for less pressure and more time for Iran when it comes to the Iranian nuclear technology.
One can speculate that the last US Nation Intelligence assessment, a combined assessment of all 16 intelligence apparatus in US, published on 12/03/2007, claimed that the Iranians had not, probably, restarted a nuclear weapons programme that it, allegedly, had until 2003, fully coincided with an unwritten understanding between Iran and USA.
It seems that US now understand that the price for a temporary calm, basically depends on Iranian good will, is way too high if it might result in Iranian nuclear capacity. In the Iranian context – the resignation, on 03/12/2008, of Admiral William Fallon, the US military commander of the Central Command (CENTCOM), because of disagreements with US president over his policies on Iran and the surge in Iraq, and the Middle-East tour of US Vice-President Dick Cheney, focused on Iran nuclear capacity, which ended yesterday 03/24/2008, are clear signs of the policy reassessment, in US administration, toward Iran. (See – US Dilemma ; CHENEY’S TOUR )
In his remarks General David Petraeus also mentioned that he has evidence that Iran was behind the bombardment of the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, on Easter Sunday 03/23/2008. If so – it is a clear hint from Iran that any sanctions or pressure on Iran linked to its nuclear program will lead, immediately, to response in Iraq by inflaming the violence and the sectarian clashes in a year of elections when politicians in Washington will do their outmost to push the war in Iraq away from the public debate. (See – Green Zone 03.24.08 )
Indeed, the very same day, Tuesday 03/25/2008, fierce clashes erupted in Iraq’S southern city of Basra amid a major pre-dawn offensive by Iraqi security forces against rival Shiite militias – “Mahdi Army”, “Bader Corp” and a new organization called “Iraqi Hezballah Brigades”. The fighting threatens the fragile balance in Iraq and can inflame, in no time, a new wave of violence in Iraq. (See – Basra clashes ).
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